SEATTLE - Thursday morning a jury convicted Jesus Mezquia of first degree murder for the death of punk rock singer Mia Zapata.
Zapata, 27, was found dead in Seattle's central area on July 7th, 1993.
Zapata was a rising star in Seattle's music scene in the early 1990's. She fronted a punk/blues band called the Gits and had the promise to make it big.
On July 7th, 1993, just back from a successful west coast tour, Zapata was repeatedly raped and then strangled. Her body was dumped in an alley on Capitol Hill.
Police arrested Mezquia, 48, in Florida in 2002. Prosecutors say DNA testing linked him to saliva found on Zapata's body. In the autopsy, doctors found bite marks on Zapata's body and took swabs of saliva.
Shortly after the verdict was announced, Mia's family and friends expressed their relief. "That we're finally going to put an end to it, and this guy won't be able to hurt anyone else," said Steve Moriarity.
Deputy Prosecutor Tim Bradshaw said this day is about one person. "I would just say two words right now, Viva Zapata. As far as any sentencing we may seriously consider an exceptional sentence due to the unbridled cruelty Mr. Mezquia inflicted upon Mia.
Mezquia faces 20 years to life in prison. Sentencing is expected in about a month.